A last word on Laura's BBC Fiasco. Readers tell me it's archived, at least for 24 hours, which would be until around 1:00 Eastern Time today. If you'd like to hear it, by all means, do listen.

Keep in mind I was specifically told it was not a debate format, and I never expected that the "discussion" would include a right-wing talk-show host. As you listen, you'll hear where he sideswiped me and the show (for me) went off the rails. After he shouts, "That's a blatant lie! If that were true, George Bush never would have..." they cut off my mike. I had collected myself and was prepared to give a quick retort, but they never let me in.

I admit I was a bit thrown by this yesterday. Hey, I get an email from BBC World Service telling me they'd like me on a radio show - exciting! I did a good interview with the producer, she said they'd love to include my point of view - fun! Then I end up feeling trapped and set-up - and infuriated. We never should have been debating the status of abortion rights in the US (what does that have to do with the election in Canada?), but baby, that is a topic I know up, down and backwards. I was angry that an ignorant lie was allowed to stand as the last word.

So the whole thing rankled. But after a few cups of tea and some venting, and a good night's sleep, I can move on. As always, I thank you so much for your support.

Periodically I am asked to do interviews or even appearances on certain topics, and I always say yes if at all possible. It's good experience, and you never know who you'll reach. I'll continue to say yes, but perhaps be a little more wary.


Potato Head said...

I had a similar run-in with the CBC last year, when they assured me that all they wanted to do was a little profile of why we were moving to Canada (the filming of which lasted hours) and then do a little segue to a live studio audience--which they forgot to tell me would be loaded with American jingoes ready to call me a traitor on international television.

Janet Malcolm famously wrote that journalism is by its very nature a seduction and betrayal of its subjects (that's the gist anyway) and that experience demonstrated that even the relatively good guys will say and do what it takes to get what they want out of you. So I completely empathize.

Wrye said...

You know, I remember that. An all-American audience, yes? Of course, the nature of Jingoes is that they'll skew any format they're in--loaded or not, what jingoes are there will get to that mike. And if there are no Jingoes, then the network hasn't "balanced" the audience and takes it in the neck.

As for being wary, I don't know--there's nothing that can be done if someone is going to lie to you. next time, you could explain what happened last time, and if they lie up and down to you, the same thing could happen again. So is the only way to win to not play?

laura k said...

Tresy, that sounds dreadful - and I'm not surprised.

I don't think you ever come back to comments after you've posted, but if you do, would you please email me? I lost your email address a long time ago, and have been hoping to contact you ever since. You have some experience that would help my brother and sister-in-law, who are contemplating a move to Canada.

Wrye, how amazing that you remember (possibly) seeing Tresy on TV.

So is the only way to win to not play?

Yes, I think so. The only way to be completely satsified with one's media coverage would be never to have any.

I decided years ago to do appearances and interviews whenever I can, without courting publicity, but to say yes if it falls in my lap, regarding anything I've written or any activism I've done - as long as the medium isn't blatantly exploitive. This is both for my own experience and the off-chance that I might reach somebody.

Generally I've been glad for the policy. Saying yes to experience is usually more enriching than saying no. But you have to be willing to have these bad experiences - then bounce back and move on. Which, when all is said and done, I am.

So... did you listen?

Echomouse said...

As a listener, with absolutely no experience in media, your comments stuck. They made the other guys look bad, particularly when they cut off your mike. It was obvious they did that.

Anytime journalism cuts someone off, particularly when they're making sense and have facts to share, that damages the journalists' credibility with me. With most people too I think.

If I were you, next time I did media, when they tried to get off topic, I wouldnt' even respond. I'd stay on topic and tell them "that's not our topic and you're bringing it up simply to avoid my being heard". That might shut them up? As I said, I've got no experience with media. But if you call them on it rather than respond to what they want you to get into, that might help.

laura k said...

Echo Mouse, thanks so much for this feedback, and also for the advice. I really appreciate it.

Staying on-topic would be very challenging when faced with a direct question - "How has anyone taken away reproductive rights?" (or however he phrased it) - about something I am passionate about, and also knowledgeable about.

But perhaps a quick answer, such as, "I can list the many ways, but that's not what we're here to talk about", would be more effective. Especially when arguing with an idiot!

Thanks again. :)